Art, music, and sports are deeply intertwined with the human experience. Anthropology offers the space to examine art, music, and sports through a cultural lens in order to study the ways in which they exist within sociocultural frameworks.
The anthropology of the arts is a subfield of cultural anthropology that explores the arts in a broader context within and between different cultural settings. Anthropologists study art differently than other social scientist, relying on data collection through direct, personal, in-depth observations of lived experiences and interactions. Art is expressed through a variety of formats, including music, visual art, literary art, and body art.
Anthropology explores the various cultural manifestations of humanity. All cultures decorate and modify the human body in some way, whether temporarily or permanently. Body art can be spiritual, cultural, or aesthetic. This includes tattooing, body paint, and hairstyling.
Ethnomusicology is a subfield of cultural anthropology that examines the music of different cultures and the people who make it, as well as the intended audience of the music. The interdisciplinary nature of ethnomusicology speaks to diverse approaches to studying the anthropology of music. Music as an art form expresses a wide array of perspectives and experiences.
Sports are a form of performance, and each participant performs within a broader cultural context. Anthropologists of sport are interested in studying sports within the context of society. Sports culture has resulted in cultural phenomena based on the popularity of athletes. Sports also serve as an escape for many populations with limited choices in recreational activities.